Everything You Need To Know About Scram Bracelets in California

Posted by Raoul Severo | Dec 06, 2020 | 0 Comments

When people hear the words ‘SCRAM bracelet', odd-looking jewelry might be the first thing that pops up in their minds. The same can be said among amateur drivers. While this might sound like a relatively new fashion item, it is actually more than just that. A SCRAM bracelet, which stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitors, are devices that sample the wearer's sweat in order to detect the amount of alcohol present in an individual's body. It collects data every 30 minutes which is then forwarded to a regional monitoring center. Unlike ordinary bracelets which are worn around the wrist, these devices are actually intended to be wrapped around the ankle. 

The science behind this tool is extraordinary. When a person consumes alcohol, most of the substance is either absorbed or released. Much of the excess alcohol escapes through a person's breath, which explains why breathalyzers work. Meanwhile, the rest of the undigested alcohol becomes ethanol vapor. This vapor makes its way out of the body through sweat pores, which are microscopic holes throughout our skin. With that said, it is impossible to detect these vapors with our bare -- and often faulty -- human sense. For this, SCRAM bracelets are heavily relied on. 

Now, let us discuss the relevance of SCRAM bracelets in driving. By now, you might have figured out that it has something to do with driving under the influence (DUI) cases -- which is correct. However, these devices are mandatory for selected individuals only, and not everybody is subjected to wear one. If a judge rules that a person must wear a SCRAM bracelet, they must do so at all times. With that said, these are the following examples wherein a SCRAM bracelet may be issued to an individual:

  • The person has offended DUI laws at least 3 to 4 times;
  • The person is a prior alcoholic; and
  • The person has failed to cure alcohol-related issues even after attending rehabilitation and support programs.

Do's and Don'ts With SCRAM Bracelets

There is understandably a lot of questions and confusions when it comes to SCRAM bracelets. For a quick and comprehensive guideline, we have decided to give you a list of do's and don'ts with SCRAM bracelets.


  • Wear it at all times;
  • Refrain from alcohol consumption;
  • Comply with the court orders;
  • Pay SCRAM CAM costs;
  • Contact a local SCRAM service provider as soon as a judge issues an order to wear one; and
  • Keep the area around the bracelet clean.


  • Consume any alcoholic beverage or products that contain alcohol;
  • Tamper, remove, or misuse the device;
  • Trick the monitoring system by spilling alcohol or exposing the device to products containing alcohol;
  • Wear any material that would go between the skin and the device;
  • Submerge the device in water (i.e., swimming pools, bathtubs); and
  • Disobey court orders.


As with most regulations or court orders, the usage of SCRAM bracelets is quite complex. There are many exceptions and special considerations involving the device, which are very important matters that need to be discussed:

  • As much as possible, it is discouraged for wearers to take off their SCRAM bracelets. However, if you have to run certain errands that require the removal of the SCRAM bracelet, you need to contact your local SCRAM service agency and inform them ahead of time. 
  • Restrictions on traveling to different places vary depending on the program prescribed to you by the court. If the SCRAM bracelet involves some form of house arrest, then you might have to follow curfew rules. On the other hand, the wearer can still go to school, employment, or other places if he/she is not placed under house arrest.
  • The wearer will get credit for “time served” if, and only if, he/she was placed under house arrest. Individuals who use SCRAM bracelets but are not restricted or confined within their residence will not receive credit for time served while wearing the device.

Penalties for SCRAM Bracelet Violations

Since SCRAM bracelets are borne out of court orders, the punishments for disobeying SCRAM bracelet rules will vary. 

For instance, if the wearer tampers or removes the device without the approval of the authorities, then he/she will likely be subject to further penalty from the courts. A hearing may be scheduled to determine whether or not the offender will serve jail time.

Defense Attorneys Are Here to Help You

If you've been charged with a DUI or a SCRAM violation, it is best to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These licensed professionals understand the law more than anyone and can thus help you weigh down your best options. Most importantly, there are details about the SCRAM bracelet that lawyers are more than qualified to talk about. 

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